North Mecklenburg swimmers know the expectations that come along with swimming for the Vikings, who have won both the boys' and girls' conference titles for 23 consecutive seasons.
With those high expectations comes a lot of pressure.
Tim Queen feels that every day.
"It builds a little bit more every year," said Queen, the fifth-year Vikings head coach. "It's been amazing that we can still hold on after this long."
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Queen said he tries not to mention it to his swimmers because he knows that they're all well-aware of the streak and what is expected of them - to keep it going.
After winning the boys' 4A state championship last season, the Vikings lost several all-conference swimmers like Brooks Corcoran and Thomas Santoli, which will leave some gaps on the team.
Queen, the 2009 Charlotte Observer boys' swimming coach of the year, admits that his boys' team isn't as deep as last season's championship squad, but he said that this group also has strong potential.
"We have a good group of guys, and they work well together," he said. "They're trying, and they're getting better every week."
To have a chance at returning to the state meet, the Vikings will look to Nick Capets, Jake Matysek and J.T. Stilley to take the reins of the team. The three seniors qualified for last season's state meet, where they all placed in the top 10 in their respective events.
Capets was seventh in the 50 freestyle and 10th in the 100 freestyle, while Matysek was ninth in the 100 breaststroke and 10th in the 200 individual medley. Stilley placed third in both the 200 and 500 freestyles.
Queen said the Lady Vikings, who finished 10th in the state last season, will be led by junior Kaitlyn Poff, who placed fifth in the 50 and 100 freestyle at the state meet.
This year, Queen said his young girls have been feeling the streak's pressure more than the guys.
"The girls are still a very young team, and we are led by a group of juniors and sophomores," he said. "We have some good seniors, but we're probably going to get more points from our underclassmen."
Queen said these underclassmen - for both the boys' and girls' teams - will have to step up for the Vikings to get another trip to the state meet in February.
But before they can worry about that, they will look to keep their conference streak alive at the end of next month. This could prove to be a challenge with the addition of Lake Norman to the I-Meck conference.
Lake Norman returns most of their swimmers as they move up to 4A after winning the 2009 3A boys' swimming championship and finishing fourth on the girls' side.
At an early meet between the two teams, the North Mecklenburg boys came away with a close 155-133 win, while the Lady Vikings won 170-115.
But Queen is not breathing any easier about the Wildcats.
"I expect that when we see them again at the end of the season, they're going to be even tougher," he said. "It's going to be a dogfight - they're good."
Queen has high hopes for his Vikings, who have won all of their meets so far. He would like to see his teams hold on to their conference crowns and have both girls and boys finish the season in the state's top five.
"I want the team to not make any mistakes and swim the best we possibly can."